JC Redmond

Italy

Hometown: Decatur, Georgia
School: Decatur High School
Sponsor District : District 6900
Sponsor Club: Rotary Club of Decatur, Georgia
Host District: TBA
Host Club: TBA


My Bio


Buongiorno, io sono JC. Next year I get to live in Italy! Currently I am a sophomore at Decatur High, in Decatur Ga. I also dual enroll at Georgia Piedmont Technical College for half of my classes. At school I really enjoy my Latin class, so much that I joined my schools Latin club and even attended the statewide convention. I am also very fond of my Graphic Design class. I love to create things and that class gave me a whole new medium to do that. Once I get home from school there are a wide range of things that I could do, but one of my favorite thing to do is play my guitar. I am in a band with some friends from school and we even write some songs ourselves! My friends and I also really enjoy solving Rubik's cubes. Currently my record is 23 seconds! I have a very very large family. At my Moms and Dads house, I have a step brother, sister and mom, along with two biological sisters that have moved out already. Also between the two houses we have five dogs and five cats. I was born in the state of Louisiana (which is convenient because it and Italy are both boot shaped) but my family and I moved to Decatur when I was a few weeks old and I've been here ever since. I am so excited to experience a new part of the world and share those experiences with others once I return! Ciao!

Getting tired in class

Getting tired in class

Inbound Orientation in Varese

Inbound Orientation in Varese

Verona Italy

Verona Italy

The view from my room at inbound orientation

The view from my room at inbound orientation

Some trees outside of my house

Some trees outside of my house

Giulio at Thanksgiving

Giulio at Thanksgiving

Caravaggio in the Uffizi Gallery

Caravaggio in the Uffizi Gallery

Livigno Italy (Alps)

Livigno Italy (Alps)

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Rome!

Rome!

Streets of Florence

Streets of Florence

VIew from the top of the tower

VIew from the top of the tower

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain

My mom at the Last Supper

My mom at the Last Supper

A hike in Lecco

A hike in Lecco

The view from my second host families vacation home in the mountains

The view from my second host families vacation home in the mountains

A get together for exchange students

A get together for exchange students

Good friends

Good friends

A'DAM

A'DAM

Paris!

Paris!

The weather being nice for our picnic

The weather being nice for our picnic

Goofing around on the bus

Goofing around on the bus

Journals: JC-Italy Blog 2018-19

  • JC, Outbound to Italy

    Hello again, welcome to my final journal entry. I'll dive right in to the start of Eurotour; on the morning of the 10th of June I woke up earlier than normal and got on the metro to get to the meeting point for the tour, a Hotel a little outside Milan. For an hour or two, my district and the other two districts that went on Eurotour with us (Cremona Italy, and Romania) mingled and started to get to know each other better until we had a small orientation. Then we got on our massive double decker bus that somehow fit all 73 of us, and started heading to our first destination: Ginevra, Switzerland.

    Sadly we only got to spend about thirty minutes there due to bad weather and the bus running a little late but it was still nice to see. Afterwards we headed to France to get to our hotel, because the next day we would head to Paris!

    For the next two days we toured Paris, seeing things like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Museum, and yeah, I did see the Mona Lisa. After wrapping up with Paris, we headed to Brussels, Belgium for the next day.

    We ended up staying in Brussels for two or three hours around lunch time and it was so incredible. I ate some genuine Belgian waffles and fries and even did some thrift shopping, then we got back in the bus and made our way to Holland.

    We took a bike tour around Amsterdam and had a picnic half way through (It's also worth noting that up until this point the weather had been rainy, cloudy and cold the whole trip so it was a really welcome change of pace when the sun came out just in time for our picnic). Later in the day we took a boat tour around the canals of Amsterdam and then we went to the A'DAM tower and did a 5D movie as well as a swing that swings over the edge of the very top of the building!

    The next and final stop for me and the other kids doing the first half of the tour was Berlin. It was a ten hour bus ride to Berlin from Amsterdam but that time goes by really quickly when you are spending it goofing around with friends on the bus.

    In the morning we toured the city of Berlin and it's really incredible how evident the history is there. For lunch we all went to an awesome flea market. Afterwards we visited the concentration camp Sachsenhausen and the experience isn't something that words can express.

    After Berlin I headed back to Milan and spent the week with my Italian friends and some exchange students that did half the tour like me or didn't do it at all. Once all the other kids got back from the rest of the tour I got to say one final goodbye to them all. The next day I said goodbye to my Italian friends. That was yesterday. Now I'm in New Jersey waiting for my flight back home writing this.

    For most of exchange I felt like I wasn't really phased by the whole experience and I was kind of just along for the ride, but in the past few months things have come into a clearer light. You never truly know what you have until it's time to let it go right? Someone wise once compared life to a circle, and before exchange that circle was complete. Everything and everyone I needed was with me and only one place was my home. Now that circle won't ever be complete again, my world has opened up so much and I'll never have everything and everyone in one place again, and that won't change, I'll just have to learn to live with it. I've made some incredible friendships and met some truly wonderful people and I'm so glad that I've had this opportunity. I'll wrap this up with a few words in Italian.

    Non è un anno in una vita, è una vita in un anno.

    Thank you again to all the Rotary volunteers that made this possible and to everyone that has treated me with so much kindness this year.

    Thank you, Grazie Mille, Arrivederci,

    JC Redmond

    Click HERE to read more about JC and all his blogs

  • JC, Outbound to Italy

    Once again this journal is extremely overdue so I apologize for that but I'm excited to catch you all up on what's been happening on my exchange.

    I’ll begin with when I switched host families for the first time all the way back in January. I was really excited to experience another perspective of the city of Milan and to get to know my new host family, and I’m glad to say both of those things were accomplished. The move went smoothly as my second family is only a five minute walk away from my first, which was very convenient, because I could also take the same bus to and from school with the same friends I had taken it with before, further growing our friendship.

    In the first few weeks I was with my second family we took a weekend vacation to the Alps and there was a lot of snow where we were staying. I also went to Padova, Italy with my host mom and brother for a weekend so that I could take the SAT, and to Venice with my Rotary district for a day trip.

    During my time with my second family the friendships I made really grew massive amounts. I spent my time playing basketball and studying physics with my Italian friends and hanging out with other exchange students more and more.

    Towards the end of my time with my second family my Mom and Stepmom visited me in Italy for one week and it was honestly relieving to have my Mom with me again. It felt like I could take a break for a little bit and trust my issues with her. I also showed them around the City and they took a trip to Venice that I didn’t get the chance to go to since I had a physics test.

    After they left it was time for me to switch to my third host family, at the time I thought it would be my last family but I later learned I would switch one more final time. When I was living with my third family is when I grew the most as an individual for sure. Shortly after I moved families the other exchange students from my district and one other district toured southern Italy for six days. During this trip I became way closer to three very important people, Olivia, Rachel and Sophie. These three girls have become some of my best friends and I’m so sad we didn’t become so close until the end. They live in a town called Lecco which is about 40 minutes by train on Lake Como. In the next month after the trip I visited Lecco a ton of times and they came to Milan a few times as well.

    By June it was time for school to end and I was ready for it too. The last week of school I didn’t have much to do but it was still nice to spend time with my classmates. After school ended I had to pack up all my things to bring them to my next family before eurotour started. In the next Journal I’ll talk about that.

    Okay, thanks for reading,

    Ciao!

    Click HERE to read more about JC and all his blogs

  • JC, Outbound to Italy

    It's been a while since I wrote my last journal entry and a lot of stuff has happened since then, so this Journal will be loaded with fun stuff I’ve gotten a chance to do so far on my exchange.

    I think I’ll begin at Thanksgiving. Now, you may be thinking that since I’m not in the United States that would mean no turkey for me, but that’s where you’d be wrong. One of my closest friends here in Italy, GIulio, has an American mother. I was lucky enough to get invited to their home for Thanksgiving and I can’t say I was disappointed. The food was great and the company was even better. It’s great to get to know your friends and their families better and occasions like that are a great way to do it.

    Next I’m going to jump in time to when I got the opportunity to visit the cities of Pisa, Florence and Rome with my fellow exchangers here in Italy.

    The first place we went was Pisa. Yes, that’s right, I was lucky enough to climb to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa before even turning seventeen (thank you Rotary)!

    After a morning and afternoon in Pisa, we got on our bus and headed towards Florence. The hotel we stayed at was comprised of these cabin type structures that housed three to four people. Once morning came around it was time to hit the city. The first thing we did was go to the Uffizi Gallery. I got to see several works from my favorite painter, Caravaggio, as well as works from Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo. The evening followed with some gelato, and then we were headed to Rome.

    For the first day in Rome we explored the huge city, visiting several churches, as well as the Trevi Fountain (I got some more gelato of course). The second day in Rome was even more incredible as we were able to see the Colosseum and the ancient Roman Forum. It was like walking back in time. It’s a surreal experience to see photographs of something for your entire life and then to actual be able to see it. The Roman Forum was really something special and I think it’s very underrated. When I was walking through it felt just like a place I would go in a dream, only it wasn’t a dream, it was real! Afterwards we got back on the bus and drove the six hours back to Milan.

    After Christmas, I headed up to Bormio, Italy with my host family for the two week break off of school. There wasn’t much snow in Bormio, but when we went up to Livigno, which is at an elevation of nearly six thousand feet, you can imagine there was a lot of snow.

    When I was in Bormio I had the chance to play golf with my host grandfather and try snowboarding for the first time. After a few days I was beginning to pick it up, but I fell on my knee and had to retire from my snowboarding career.

    For New Years me and my host family had a big dinner in Bormio and watched fireworks. I made friends with some of the kids that were in the same apartment complex as us and we went ice skating and played cards.

    In my next journal I’ll talk about the time I went to Venice and how switching host families went.

    One final thank you to all the Rotarians and volunteers that make this possible for me and all the other exchange students, and I’m off.

    Ciao!

    Click HERE to read more about JC and all his blogs

  • JC, Outbound to Italy

    In two days I will have lived in Milan for two months, but let’s start from the beginning.

    After leaving the airport with my host father and sister, the first thing we did was get gelato.

    It was the best gelato I had ever had. I’ve lost count of the number of gelatos I’ve had since I’ve been here.

    For the first two days I was suffering from jet lag which caused me a bit of homesickness, but I got over it quickly. My host mom was freaking out a little bit because the jet lag made me lose my appetite (food is very important in Italy so this scared her), I slept instead.

    Once the jet lag passed, my exchange could really begin, and it did. On the third day my host family took me all around the city, seeing the famous Milano Duomo, the Santa Maria Delle Grazie church (which holds leonardo's “Last Supper”), the Scala theater, and handfuls of other churches and landmarks. This was my first taste of life as a Milanese.

    Fast forward a few days and it’s the first day of school for me. For the first two or three days I was only exchanging pleasantries with my classmates and not really making friends with them, but I quickly became friends with three individuals, Davide, Niccolò and Giulio. Eventually I started speaking more and more with the rest of the class, and now I can confidently call just about all of the students my friends.

    I’ve also been able to make close friends with other exchange students that are hosted here, in and around Milan. At the first orientation in Varese, I didn’t get to know any of the other students well, but recently I spent some time with them, thanks to the bi-weekly Italian class we all share, and now I’ve got some friends from all over the United States, as well as friends from Canada, Australia, and even Taiwan.

    As far as my host family and club, they’ve been great. My family treats me just like I’m their real son and are always looking out for me and my interests. They loved the American treats I brought them, but they weren't used to the sour candy, so even one sour gummy worm was too much for them!

    I also had the opportunity to visit Verona (the town in which Romeo & Juliet is set) with my host club. It was incredible. Verona is a beautiful city with an arena, a river, a castle, and Juliet's famous balcony. I was even able to get a Romeo & Juliet pin for my blazer!

    I’ve also visited Turin with my host district and the other exchange students and we saw one of the most highly acclaimed Egyptian museums in the world! It was so interesting to peek into the lives of ancient egyptians.

    And Finally, today, I went on top and inside of the Duomo. The inside of the gothic cathedral was breathtaking and the view from the top was too. Being able to see the Duomo, the city, and even the snow capped mountains in the distance is definitely something I’d like to see again.

    Now I’d like to just say that none of this would be possible without Rotary and it’s wonderful members, so thank you.

    Okay, ciao, see you at four months!

    Click HERE to read more about JC and all his blogs

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